This is what May looks like.

It looks like May will be a busy month on the local beet circuit. Here's the latest on this year's Beer Week (hello, Scott Carsberg?), plus a first-ever awards for Washington beer.

Seattle Beer Week 2013 
This year’s installment will be May 9 to 19. The new website is up, but the schedule of tap nights, beer dinners, and other special events doesn’t usually start to populate until a week or two ahead of time. Beer people are casual that way. Organizer Ian Roberts says all the biggies like Brouwer’s Sour Fest will return. Roberts also owns The Pine Box, and says he’ll bring back his beer-can car derby and the Can You Handle My Randall event. But here’s why I’m excited: Bisato chef Scott Carsberg has been consulting in the kitchen, and Roberts says he is planning a super fancy beer dinner, where brews get paired with Carsberg’s technique-driven plates. The two have even written a food menu already. I’ll be sure to share details as this plan develops. Fremont Brewing is brewing the official Beer Week beer; it will be sessionable and hoppy and the first Beer Week brew to come in a can. The brewery says ingredients will be 100 percent organic and 100 percent from the state of Washington. Let’s see if it can top Elysian’s excellent Split Shot Espresso Milk Stout from last year. 

Washington Beer Awards
How is it that our state has this spectacular craft beer presence, but no major in-state award program? Two local homebrewers who are active on the competition circuit, Mark Emiley and Peter Twigg got the nod from the Washington Beer Commission to organize the first official Washington Beer Awards. The idea, says Emiley, is recognize local beers and give brewers some feedback and practice before the national competitions. Plus, winning a medal doesn’t exactly hurt with sales and marketing. Beers will be judged based on how well they represent their respective styles. Here’s the full rundown on judging and other details; the competition will be held in May.